Four Letter Nerd

Game of Thrones: Season 4 Obituaries

Valar Morghulis, or “All men must die” in Valaryian and the often repeated phrase heard throughout Game of Thrones, might be a more accurate title than “Game of Thrones” is. Because for a show that produces so many uncertainties with its plot, the only thing we can be certain of is people will die. And not just nameless extras like the red-shirted crew members from Star Trek, but important people who we expected to be around for the duration. The following is a farewell to some of those significant (or at least mildly important) characters that lost their lives during Season 4 of Game of Thrones. (Of Note: I did say “important” and “significant” characters. So I will not be including all the people Arya killed who wronged her for five minutes back in season 2 or the human sacrifices made to the Mountain before he fought the Red Viper). So let’s take a moment of solemn (or celebratory depending on what you thought of them) remembrance for these memorable characters.


Joffrey Baratheon

When- Episode 2/The Lion and the Rose

How- Poisoned at his own wedding

Never have people rejoiced more at the death of a character. The evil brat king tortured any and all that defied him from his time as a prince in Season 1 to taking his last, poisoned breath as king early in Season 4. We can also thank Joffrey for the war of five kings, which ignited after he beheaded Ned Stark, causing people to abandon fields they should have been harvesting for when winter comes. So, unfortunately, the effects of Joffrey’s cruel reign will linger long after his death.


Dontos Hollard

When- Episode 3/Breaker of Chains

How- Shot with an arrow on a boat by Petyr Baelish’s men

The shamed former knight had one heroic moment: getting Sansa out of King’s Landing. Though he was paid to do it, the man still likely saved Sansa’s life, getting her out of town when he did. But, drunken pawns with information are prime targets to meet their doom in Westeros, and Petyr Baelish knew he couldn’t allow Dontos to live once he delivered Sansa to Lord Littlefinger.


Karl and Rast

karl and rast

When- Episode 5/First of His Name

How- Karl by a sword through the skull from Jon Snow, and Rast by Ghost while he is fleeing in the woods.

Karl led a revolt on Craster’s Keep, killing the daughter-loving piece of scum. But Karl was even worse as the lead tenant of Craster’s, so the sword he took to the back of the head was well deserved. Rast was more pawn to Karl than anything. But he did kill the Old Bear back in Season 3 and had to be threatened by Jon Snow and crew to quit bullying Sam is Season 1, so his death by Ghost was deserved as well.



When- Episode 5/First of His Name

How- Neck snapped by warg-possessed Hodor.

The bounty hunter who cut off Jamie Lannister’s hand was sent by Roose Bolton to find Bran Stark. Instead, he found a pissed-off Hodor that is unstoppable when Bran wants him to be.


Lysa Arryn

When- Episode 7/Mockingbird

How- Pushed out the Moon Door by Petyr Baelish

Crazy Lysa and her naive notions about the world!!! From breastfeeding her 8 year old to threatening to kill her niece over her love of the “ever trustworthy” Petyr Baelish. But getting pushed through the moon door was an ironic end for someone who stayed secluded on her mountain home because of its safety.


Oberyn Martell

When- Episode 8/The Red Viper and the Mountain

How- Face crushed by the Mountain in a trial by battle for the life of Tyrion Lannister.

Winner, and still champion for the most gruesome death goes to the Red Viper. None of the 7 deaths that followed over the next two episodes were tougher to watch than Oberyn having his face punched in by the Mountain. And the loss of a character with so much potential to shake-up the game was tough as well. But the desire for revenge over simple justice proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Red Viper.


Grenn and Pyp

When- Episode 9/The Watchers on the Wall

How- Grenn holding off a giant underneath the Wall, while Pyp was shot in the head with an arrow by a Wildling.

Jon Snow lost two allies and friends who died heroically defending the Wall.


Styr the Magnar of Thenn

When- Episode 9/The Watchers on the Wall

How- A hammer to the head by Jon Snow

The large, head shaven cannibal became another victim on the kill list for Jon Snow while invading the Wall.



When- Episode 9/The Watchers on the Wall

How- An arrow from Ollie.

Lack of screen time for Ygritte this season took away from the effect this death should’ve had when Jon’s love interest from Season 3 died in his arms near the end of the Wildling invasion.


Jojen Reed

When- Episode 10/The Children

How- Stabbed by a skeleton popping out of the ground. (Seriously, that was how he died.)

I guess the technical word for the skeleton was a wight, but they looked nothing like anything we had seen before. Jojen was a very important part of Bran’s journey to get to the three-eyed raven, giving Bran direction and guidance on how to get there and how to harness his warging abilities. I just know something cooler could have been created or found to give him a cooler death.


The Hound?

When- Episode 10/The Children

How- Falling off a cliff during an epic fight with Brienne of Tarth

Now this is how you go down swinging!!! The Hound was one of the more despicable characters when the series began, butchering a butcher’s boy and always having vile things to say to Sansa Stark. But over time, we grew to appreciate the Hound’s realistic view of life in Westeros, honor, and knighthood. His relationship with Arya throughout Season 4 helped his reputation with us as well. It is unlikely the man will survive his fall. But the last we saw of him, he was not dead. And Martin has produced stranger twists.



When- Episode 10/The Children

How- Strangled to death by her former lover, Tyrion Lannister

I don’t believe a character has fallen faster in the good graces of the audience as Shae did when she took to the stand and testified/lied about her former lover. Before that, her wit, spunk, and fearlessness in a very dangerous situation endeared her to the audience. But not only did she testify against our beloved Tyrion, but she had been sleeping with his father for who knows how long. So I expect little mourning for Shae, a character whose death would have been much sadder if it happened a season earlier.


Tywin Lannister

When- Episode 10/The Children

How- Shot in the heart with two arrows by his son while sitting on the toilet

The shrewd manipulator of the Lannister dynasty these last two seasons is no more. While Lord Tywin was not particularly likable, you had to respect the way he pushed all the right buttons to maintain the position of power for his family. He did everything right in regards to his leadership on the battlefield and his political maneuvering. But it was from within that family that Tywin made his mistake, treating his children as assets in a business and not his own blood.

Underestimation of his youngest son was another critical mistake as well. Now who will replace Lord Tywin as the shot caller in Westeros?



(Editor’s Note: This article was written by Jeff Merrick)

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